from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A colorless flammable gas, C2H4, derived from natural gas and petroleum and used as a source of many organic compounds, in welding and cutting metals, to color citrus fruits, and as an anesthetic. Also called ethene.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The common name for the organic chemical compound ethene. The simplest alkene, a colorless gaseous (at room temperature and pressure) hydrocarbon with the chemical formula C2H4.
  • n. The divalent radical derived from ethane.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A colorless, gaseous hydrocarbon, C2H4, forming an important ingredient of illuminating gas, and also obtained by the action of concentrated sulphuric acid in alcohol. It is an unsaturated compound and combines directly with chlorine and bromine to form oily liquids (Dutch liquid), -- hence called olefiant gas. Called also ethene, elayl, and formerly, bicarbureted hydrogen.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. C2H4. A colorless poisonous gas having an unpleasant, suffocating smell.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a flammable colorless gaseous alkene; obtained from petroleum and natural gas and used in manufacturing many other chemicals; sometimes used as an anesthetic


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • According to Pemex, this will reduce imports by enabling the domestic manufacture of certain ethylene derivatives that are currently only available from overseas producers.

    Lloyd Mexico Economic Report June 2002

  • When a stream of ethylene is directed on to nickel, cobalt or iron, which has been freshly reduced and kept in the region of 300°C, intense incandescence of the metal with deposition of large quantites of carbon due to breakdown of the ethylene occurs.

    Paul Sabatier - Nobel Lecture

  • Dad must've been a tad behind the times, though, since I just found out that antifreeze was first prepared, and called ethylene glycol, in 1859 the family Buick wasn't quite that old by a French chemist named Charles Adolphe Wurtz.

    Maggie Van Ostrand: New Year's Non-Resolutions: Appreciating the Inventions that Make Our Lives Easier

  • For example, in making ethylene, which is needed to produce the plastic product polyethylene, the by-product propylene is created.


  • "Plants exposed to wind produce a growth-retardant hormone called ethylene, which causes the plant to be shorter and to have thicker stems.

    Penn State Live

  • Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh said the company plans to decide soon where to build the so-called ethylene cracker plant, which would convert natural gas liquids to other chemicals. rss feed

  • Ethane is used by the chemical industry as a feedstock to produce ethylene, which is then used to manufacture a number of polymers used to produce products in the consumer and industrial marketplace.

  • Dad must've been a tad behind the times, though, since I just found out that antifreeze was first prepared, and called ethylene glycol, in 1859 the family Buick wasn't quite that old

    The Full Feed from

  • The price of glycol largely tracks crude oil price as it is normally derived from ethylene, which is produced from crude oil derivatives such as naptha. Home Page

  • U.S. ethylene operating rates were approximately 88% of nameplate capacity again this quarter, producing an average of 50 billion pounds a year of ethylene, which is in line with the average of the last five years. Home Page


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